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Minnesota deer harvest up 13 percent through first 10 days

Forum News Service

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota’a deer population appears to be on a rebound from a low-point two years ago as harvest numbers were up 13 percent through the first 10 days, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reported Tuesday.

Minnesota firearms hunters registered 118,599 deer through the second weekend of firearms deer season, up from 104,785 from the same period in 2014.

“Hunters are seeing more deer this year as we continue to build deer populations across much of the state,” said Steve Merchant, wildlife populations and regulations program manager. “We’ve again issued a conservative number of antlerless deer permits, and because of this, many hunters are seeing deer they can’t shoot. However, patience this year should translate to more harvest opportunities in the future.”

Buck harvest during the first 10 days of the firearms season was up 18 percent from last year, indicating that the population has in fact grown from its low point two springs ago.

The DNR is projecting the 2015 total deer harvest to be between 140,000 to 155,000 deer. The 2014 total harvest after last year’s conservative season was just over 139,000.

In much of Minnesota, the last day of the firearms deer season was Sunday. Additional deer will be harvested during the northern rifle zone season through this Sunday,the late southeastern season running Saturday through Nov. 29; and the muzzleloader season which begins Nov. 28, and continues through Dec. 13.